Cell Phone Shovels

Graham - Rapid City, South Dakota
Entered on December 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Montana’s winters can be harsh. One morning a friend of mine, Ian, and I were driving from Rapid City, South Dakota to Red Lodge, Montana, to ski. The weather was harsh, snowing hard, almost a white out. It was the kind of weather that a person doesn’t want to have to depend on technology, like a cell phone, to dig themselves out if they get stuck or lost. The way the snow was coming down I was wondering if we would get there.

We were traveling on Highway 212 that runs from Belle Fourche, South Dakota to Hardin, Montana. We were cruising along quite well when we came around a corner and saw a big truck in the ditch. We stopped, and walked over to talk to the two older men standing outside the truck. I asked the men if they were alright and they said they were. We offered them our shovels we had for skiing and one of the guys said, “No, it is O.K. I have my cell phone.” We thought he was joking and said, “No really you can use our shovels.” But he insisted that he didn’t need a shovel and repeated, “Nope, I have my cell phone.” so we walked back, got in the car and drove off.

I don’t know about the other guy’s cell phone but mine didn’t have any reception. This man’s actions got me thinking. I have been stuck before, just like that guy, and I thanked God that I had my shovel even though I was lucky enough to have someone drive by and help tow me out. I don’t know for sure, but I doubt that this man stuck in the ditch, had a tow rope, jumper cables, or anything a person might need in a situation like that. I’m sure this man probably thought that his big truck could never get stuck. This incident has continued to make me wonder if people have become too dependent on the conveniences of today’s world. Has technology made society lazy? Have microwaves helped us cook or not? How about computers? Does modern technology help or complicate our lives? Is complication the price we have to pay for the technological full lives we live? Possibly it was just the way I was raised to be prepared for disasters like this one or maybe I’m behind the revolution of cell phone shovels. I believe that people are becoming to faithful on technology to save them and forgetting how to take care of themselves.

After the whole incident my friend Ian and I safely drove the rest of the way to Red Lodge without seeing anyone else in the ditch. We skied all weekend and drove home without any troubles or anyone else’s troubles. But after all this time I am still wondering how long it took that man to dig his truck out with his cell phone.